childrens faq’s

Children’s Dentistry – FAQ’s

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Children’s Dentistry – FAQ’s

We have created a separate FAQ aimed at answering some general questions about childrens teeth and to provide you with information.  Please don’t hesitate to call us or send your question to

I worry about my childs teeth..?

From your childs’ first milk tooth to the visits from the tooth fairy to the development of adult teeth and wisdom teeth, there are some good habits that can be developed which can help your child to avoid oral health problems.  Here are some summary guidelines (more detail in the FAQ section)…

Establishing good habits can help your child avoid oral health problems, such as tooth decay and gum disease.  You can help them enjoy trouble free teeth for life and

  • Start a brushing routine as soon as the first milk tooth breaks through
  • Visit Vard Dental so that your child becomes familiar with our environment and gets to know your friendly dentist. J Vard Dental can identify any oral health problems at an early stage.  Just opening up the child’s mouth for the dentist to take a look is a useful practise
  • From around the age of 7, encourage your child to brush their own teeth. Keep an eye on their brushing to ensure they are bushing properly (more details in FAQ section)
  • Sport enthusiasts – a sports mouth guard should be considered for children who engage in contact sports
  • Call us on 2855 841 for an appointment and we can discuss your specific concerns

Do children need sports guards?

It’s always a good idea to protect your childrens’ growing teeth through encouraging them to use a sports guard while participating in sports.  You can choose to make the sports guard more interesting and fun through getting us to introduce colour to the sports guard (costs a little extra).

What dental treatment are children entitled to?

The HSE operates the Schools Screening Services which aims to screen children in Second, Fourth and Sixth Class. Unfortunately due to restrictions in the public service, these target classes are not always reached.

My child has knocked out a tooth. What should I do?

Pick the tooth up by the crown (the part visible in the mouth normally) – do not touch the root.  Rinse the tooth briefly under cold water to dislodge any dirt. Do not scrub the tooth!

Holding the crown, place the tooth gently back into the socket. Make sure it is the right way round – looking at the same tooth on the other side will help here.

If the tooth can’t be put back in the socket, the most important thing is for it to be stored properly until you get into us. Milk is ideal, as it simulates conditions in the body quite well. If milk isn’t available, water is better than nothing, but don’t let the tooth dry out. Phone us at 01 2855 841 for an emergency appointment.

You must attend a dentist as quickly as possible. With all dental injuries, time is of critical importance, and will make the difference between possibly keeping the tooth, or losing it.

What are teething symptoms?

Some teeth grow with no pain or discomfort at all. At other times you may notice that the gum is sore and red where the tooth is coming through, or that one cheek is flushed. Your baby may dribble, gnaw and chew a lot, or just be fretful.

You know your baby best. If their behaviour seems unusual, or their symptoms are severe or causing you concern, then seek medical advice.

What are the best snacks to give to my child?

The best snacks are fruit and raw vegetables. Try tangerines, bananas, pieces of cucumber or carrot sticks. Other good snacks include toast, rice cakes and plain popcorn.

Dried fruit is a concentrated source of sugar and tends to stick to teeth, so only give it occasionally as a snack to children.

Are fizzy drinks bad for my child’s teeth?

Fizzy drinks can contain large amounts of sugar, which will increase the risk of tooth decay. All fizzy drinks (both those containing sugar and sugar-free or “diet” versions) also contain acids that can erode the outer surface of the tooth.

What are the best drinks for my childs teeth?

The best drinks for children over one year old are plain still water or plain milk.

Are fruit juice drinks OK?

Even unsweetened juices contain sugars and acids. If your child is thirsty, it’s better to give them water than to encourage a taste for sweet drinks.

Is milk at bedtime OK?

Teeth are at most risk at night because there is less saliva in the mouth to protect them. Water is the best drink to give at bedtime.  Chocolate-flavoured drinks and milkshake powder usually contain sugars, which will increase the risk of decay.

Can sweets harm my child’s teeth?

Most children want sweets, but you can help prevent problems by making sure they don’t have a large amount or very often, and particularly not before bed, when saliva flow reduces.

Try not to give sweets or sweet drinks as rewards.

What can I do to minimise the impacts of sugar?

One suggestion is to get your child to drink water or brush their teeth after eating sweets as this will help to get rid of the acid that causes erosion.

Another suggestion is to get a fissure sealant applied to your childs teeth as this will help prevent food, sugars and bacteria getting stuck in their teeth and reduces the risk of decay.

What is a fissure sealant?

A fissure sealant is an opaque/clear resin placed in the fissures of back teeth predominantly to reduce the risk of decay.  It fills in the grooves on the chewing surfaces of the teeth where foods and bacteria can get stuck and cause cavities.  The earlier the sealant can be placed the better the benefit.  Once applied, sealant can last for several years.

My child sucks a dummy. Can that harm my childs teeth?

No, thumb sucking and dummies won’t cause permanent problems as long as the habit stops by the time the time your child gets their second teeth. Potential problems may develop associated with an open bite and speech development.  The current thinking is that you should avoid using dummies after 12 months of age.

Thumb sucking and dummies won’t cause permanent problems as long as the habit stops by the time your child gets their second teeth, but it can be a hard habit to break.

Call (01) 2855 841

or book your appointment online

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